Mia Friedman graduated from New England Conservatory where she studied with Anthony Coleman, Carla Kihlstedt, and Hankus Netsky, and is an active composer, performer, and educator. Her song “Across the Water” won the 2011 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the folk category, and she was the 2006 New Hampshire Highland Games Scottish Fiddle Champion. She is largely influenced by American roots music and old-time Appalachian traditions, and blends this with contemporary experimental music in her compositions. Mia has been teaching CMSS’ Elementary and Middle School Sonido String programs for 2 years. She also teaches violin and beginner voice private lessons at CMSS.
Maggie Shar is a banjo and guitar playing, singing educator originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has been playing guitar since she was twelve and has been playing banjo since 2004, learning from Riley Baugus and Bruce Molsky among others. In 2003, she graduated from Hampshire College with a focus on music, education, and healing. She then went on to receive her M.S. from Antioch University New England in 2007 with a focus on environmental education and social justice.
Maggie is trained in the Nurtured Heart Approach and has over a decade of experience teaching children in creative, interactive, engaging ways having worked as an assistant camp director, camp counselor, preschool teacher, home-school teacher, environmental educator, parent coach, and music teacher. She has also been teaching guitar and banjo lessons for the past three years to students of varying experience levels and ages. In addition, Maggie performs regularly throughout New England with The Ephemeral Stringband, and has three self-released albums.
Maggie is fueled by the curiosity of children and strives to make each child feel a sense of belonging and success in their learning process. She strongly believes in the power of music to generate joy, healing, connection, and community for people of all ages.
Annie Stevenson – Director of Early Childhood Music at CMSS, Little Roots co-founder and instructor
Annie is on Maternity Leave for the 2017/18 school year.
Annie Stevenson is a professional vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, performer, recording artist, and educator originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She began studying voice formally when she was eight years old, and guitar when she was twelve. Annie began songwriting at the age of thirteen, performing in the greater Boston area’s acoustic music scene shortly after. In 2008, she graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston with a Bachelor of Music degree emphasizing vocal studies and world music. Annie’s musical experiences have ranged from participation in Nashville bluegrass jams to intensive studies of traditional West African music in Ghana, West Africa, and collaborations in Siberia with the Tuvan National Orchestra. Through these travels and studies in world music, Annie discovered the intrinsic value of community-oriented music. Annie has nearly a decade of experience teaching group Early Childhood Music classes in Boston, New York City and now, Springfield, Massachusetts. She has also been teaching guitar and voice lessons, primarily in contemporary styles, for nearly ten years to students of varying experience levels, from ages four to seventy-six.
Additionally, Annie has spent the past nine years leading the internationally touring Americana group, Annie and The Beekeepers, and has performed at such notable festivals as South By South West, Philadelphia Folk Festival, and Boston Folk Festival. Annie has three self-released albums and has had the honor of sharing stages with The Lumineers, Josh Ritter, Justin Townes Earle, amongst other greats.